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Skating rink in Carmacks closed, deemed unsafe

Safety concerns have prompted the Village of Carmacks to shut down its only skating rink.

Safety concerns have prompted the Village of Carmacks to shut down its only skating rink.

In December, a routine inspection of the village’s facilities by its insurance company revealed that supports holding the roof above the outdoor rink were unstable.

The company would no longer insure the rink until it had been further inspected, said Lee Bodie, acting mayor of Carmacks.

At a council meeting the same night, the decision was made to shut it down indefinitely.

Problems started two years ago when concrete under the ice surface buckled, forcing the village to remove it entirely.

Melting permafrost also caused the supports to move.

An engineering firm used cables to stabilize the supports, Bodie said, but that wasn’t meant as a permanent solution.

“It seemed safe - we just filled up the skating rink using a gravel base and everything was fine,” he said.

“But in December the insurance company determined some of the roof supports weren’t 100 per cent to their liking. We immediately closed it down for safety reasons and hired Stantec to inspect it.”

The engineering firm’s report is expected to be released soon, said Bodie.

It’s unfortunate to have to close the rink down at this time of year, but the community can’t take the risk of leaving it open, said Bodie.

Council hasn’t been able to find an alternative site, as there aren’t any other flat locations in town with lighting that are suitable for a rink.

If the village can’t afford the rink repairs it plans to turn to the Yukon government for financial assistance, said Bodie.

Skating is a popular activity in the town of approximately 500 residents.

“Kids are always skating on it and there are makeshift hockey games,” he said.

“It’s the only place to skate in town. There used to be a makeshift rink at the school but it was operated by a RCMP member who is no longer here.”

Contact Myles Dolphin at